Just a Little Butter

Dogwood Lane Dairy’s Sweet Cream Butter

The story of our butter is simple, but what makes it so good? Why is it so yellow? How is it made? Why is it different?

Lets start with our cows. We milk a 100% registered Guernsey herd. Why? Well John Christian started his herd in the 1920’s with guernseys, and we never changed. We love the Guernsey breed. Many of our cows are decedents from the original cows. They also have great attitudes, and I believe can tolerate our climate better than other breeds. The Guernsey breed was started by French Monks on the Island of Guernsey, in the English Channel. Golden Guernsey milk was the premium milk of the days gone before us, when it was delivered to our front door.

If you see the Golden Guernsey logo then you know the product you are using has been produced using guernsey milk. The use of the logo is authorized from the American Guernsey Association. If you ever see our banner at the farmers market, you will notice the the Golden Guernsey Milk Product Label.

Why is the butter so yellow? Well when Guernseys graze on grass the beta carotene from the grass doesn’t pass through their system, but passes on into their milk. This creates the golden hue. You can find more at www.guernsey-butter.com. Our Guernseys are pasture kept, and this means they live out in the pasture 24/7. They do have shelter with a deep straw bedding pack, but it is up to them to use it. In the winter when the grass is dormant we feed hay, and silage. Feeds that we have put up during the prior years harvest. They have a choice of what to eat. Some like hay, some like silage, and others go right to grass. It’s their choice. With this said our milk has a great golden hue to it.

A full tank of 100% Guernsey milk.
100% Guernsey milk in a glass

As the milk goes into the milk tank, it is cooled to 38 degrees. From here we truck it to the butter maker. We are still building our creamery, so we have someone nice enough to help us make the butter. Otherwise it would stay on the farm. From the time the cow is milked, to when the butter is packaged, it is completely incased in a sterile environment.

This is the trailer used to haul it.

Once it gets to the butter makers, the milk is pasteurized and then passes into the butter churn. From the butter churn the buttermilk is drained, the butter is rinsed, and packaged. We have the choice of unsalted, salted, and three different packaging options. We let him know ahead of time so he is prepared.

The processing room where our butter is made.

Our milk usually leaves in the middle of the night and is ready by noon the next day. I like to pick it up as soon as possible. He is kind enough to do this for us, so I will figure a way to pick it up as soon as it is ready. When we arrive to pick it up there are no labels on it. We take care of that once we get it home.

Such a beautiful color, and all it is, is our guernsey cream, and salt. Why say Sweet Cream on the label. Well there isn’t any sugar or sweeteners added, but the natural taste is creamy and sweeter to me than regular store bought butter. So, I named it Sweet Cream Butter. Once labeled its available to the consumer.

Its different from the second our cows graze our pastures, and its taste is premier. However there is another great thing about our butter that sets it apart. The guernsey breed is said to be 93% or better A2A2. What does that mean? Its all about the beta casein proteins. A1 and A2 milk have different beta casein proteins. The two proteins digest differently in our bodies. Some have a sensitivity to milk causing digestion problems. It may simply be the proteins in the milk. The Guernsey breed and its milk is a source for naturally occurring A2A2 protein. For more information check out www.usguernsey.com.

So there you have it, the story of our butter. Butter that is made from 100% Guernsey milk.

In a time of uncertainty, when last year our community was turned upside down, we have tried to keep it simple and it local. This is one of many products available to the consumer. Look around, ask questions, follow the journey, stay local, and buy local.

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